April 29, 2011

the freckle

As I give him a bath each night, I can't stop staring.

No, not at his sparkling gray eyes ...

Or his chubby cheeks ...

Or his mischievous grin ...

Or his long, skinny legs ...

Or his baby-sized feet and toes ...

The thing that catches my attention most is a freckle.

A single freckle that has magically appeared on his back, almost perfectly centered between his shoulder blades.

It is small and brown.

A mere speck.

Practically insignificant and unnoticeable to the average bath-giver ...

But not to me.

To me, it is a sign that he is changing.

Not so long ago, his skin was white. Alabaster. Smooth and soft and smelling of powder and baby shampoo.

Today it is different.

The freckle is just the first little blemish (of many).

Soon there will be more ... More freckles, cuts and scrapes and bruises from rambunctious toddler play, imperfections and scars from a childhood well-lived. They will appear, one after the other, time and again, taking him farther and farther away from his days as a baby.

While I wouldn't have it any other way, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around how far we've come ... How, in only a year's time, we've gone from cradling, to sitting, to crawling, to walking, to running, to climbing (but not talking). How he's blossomed from an easygoing little lump, into someone bursting with attitude and personality.

The freckle reminds me.

It's proof that, in the blink of an eye (Look now or you'll miss it!) a phase of our lives has come and gone.

Proof that, just as my son grows, I grow too ...

With each new freckle, each mark that graces his skin, time ticks by.

He is changing.

He has changed me.

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